About “Getting a Russian visa in the U.S. for former USSR citizens or people born in the USSR.”
In order to obtain a Russian visa, every person who was born in and was a citizen of the USSR must provide some extra documents proving that he or she never received Russian citizenship.
How does the Russian consulate know whether or not I am a former USSR citizen?
The visa application asks if you ever had USSR citizenship and if you answer yes, how you came to not have USSR citizenship, by moving to another country or after the fall of the Soviet Union. In your passport it is written where and what year you were born, so the consulate will be able to see if you were a former USSR citizen. The Russian consulate assumes that everyone who was born in the USSR could potentially have gotten Russian citizenship after the fall of the Soviet Union. If you are applying for a Russian visa, the consulate requires an applicant who was born in the USSR to prove that he/she never received Russian citizenship, or if you did have citizenship that you got it renounced.
How do I prove that I have never been a Russian citizen?
Officially the Russian Federation came into existence on February 6th, 1992. Everyone who was living on the territory of Russia became a Russian citizen automatically. So, if you left the USSR before that date and you were no longer registered on the territory of Russia on that date, then you never received Russian citizenship. In this case you can provide the consulate with any kind of document proving that you left the USSR before Feb. 6th, 1992. These are the documents that can be used:
- A copy of your USSR travel passport with exit stamps indicating that you left before Feb. 6th, 1992;
- A copy of one of your parents’ passports if you were a child who was written into their passports;
- A copy of your or your parents’ Israeli visa showing your departure from the USSR before the fall;
- A copy of a valid or expired passport that proves that you became a citizen of a country (Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, and etc.) other than Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union;
- Any other copy of a foreign document proving that you left the USSR before Feb. 6th, 1992 (a certificate of naturalization, a social security benefit report stating that you received your social security number before the fall, and etc.). Please contact to discuss what documents will work for your personal situation. We can have the Russian consulate check over your documents before we submit your application to ensure that your application won’t be denied and lose the consular fee.
What happens if I do not have my old documents proving that I never received Russian citizenship?
Unfortunately, in this situation your visa application could be denied, and the consular fee is non-refundable. The Russian Federation assumes that you have these documents, but if you do not there are ways to get around these requirements.
Please do not worry if you are not able to find your old documents. We can help you write an official letter to the Consulate explaining that your USSR documents were lost or damaged and to obtain new documents to submit which fit your personal situation. We have a lot of experience with these different issues. If it turns out that your stayed registered on the territory of the Russian Federation after Feb. 6th, 1992 or there are any other factors showing that you might be a Russian citizen, we can help you confirm your Russian citizenship and obtain a Russian travel passport in order to be able to travel to Russia.